Many organizations are using mass email software (e.g. SalsaLabs, Constant Contact, Blue State Digital, etc.) to contact their members. These applications allow you to create beautiful HTML emails as well as examine the analytics for emails you send. Knowing the open and click-through rates will give you valuable information needed to measure the effectiveness of your email.
There are some important steps you should take to ensure your email strategy is working.
Value Your Members
No matter how many email addresses you have, you need to remember that these aren’t just names on a list – they are people who make achieving your organization’s goals a possibility. Be careful not to overwhelm them with a constant barrage of email. Analyze which emails are getting the best results – which receive the most opens, clicks, and shares – and send information in which members are interested.
Make sure that the look of your emails is branded with your organization’s logo and maintains a consistent look. This will make your email easy to recognize by members and create a positive impression. Creating specific HTML designs for different emails (e.g. General News, Action Alerts, etc.) will help to show members the level of importance of the email. Many email applications, especially on smartphones, will show members a preview of your email content. Be sure to test the look of your email template across numerous platforms.
Show Your Work
Let your members know what your organization has been accomplishing and how their actions are helping to achieve the organization’s goals. Remember, in times of crisis you may need to send more update emails to members. Set the parameters for members at the beginning by telling them you will be updating them on a consistent basis, then stick to that schedule. Even if you have nothing new to say. Rephrase what you have already told them. Too many organizations make the mistake of, not informing members what is happening during a crisis which can create a breach of trust. Keep them informed!
Use a Clear Call to Action
When you ask your members to get involved be clear about the action that needs to be taken. Tell members what you are doing, what you need and how they can help. This will result in more members taking action to help your organization to achieve its goals.